Wednesday, 24 March 2010

From AQ to MH to Algalon to Valithria 25HM - Or how I wasted my Sunday.

The day began on Saturday night actually. Well technically Sunday morning because I'd done what I've been trying not to do recently, which is play under the influence after a night out. Whilst playing with a couple of my guildies I managed to talk about doing an Ulduar achievement run. Yup, some people get drunk and talk about their parental issues or their messy break up. Me, I talk about the silly extra Ulduar Achievements.

I arose late, hungover with a mouth which seemed to feel like a cat threw up in it. Considering I don't have a cat and I've stopped smoking I think something is afoot here! After some morning ablutions I checked my SAN character for auctions, then jumped on my hunter to do the daily. Ah. He's done it, so I checked my alt... and my other alt... and my horde alt. I seem to have managed to do it on all 4 and yet have no recollection. Worrying.

Guild chat pops up and soon I'm on vent chatting shit with everyone and helping someone with mic issues. After a run fails to materialise for the HM ICC10 group I grab the people at a loose end and strike forth into AQ40. My healer friend is levelling a lock and wants to come with us to MH so we agree to go AQ first so she can ding 70 and come along for some levelling gear.

AQ was hilarious. Viscidus in particular. You see this boss needs frost damage to kill him after you've got him to 1hp. You use frost attacks and he becomes frozen then the melee shatter him. 12 people, you'd have thought one of us had frost attacks. We only had 1 dk so we sat there for about 10mins while he spammed Icy touch which only the application counted for incidentally because the boss is immune to diseases. He finally freezes and everyone is afk auto attacking so he doesn't shatter. /facepalm. We abandoned it and cleared the rest without issue before hitting MH and picking up our friend's lock and couple other guildies.

Mount Hyjal is always fun. I got Echo his rep achievement after the second boss so i jumped to my Prot/ret pally to pick up tier gear. Cue the end of the run and I have the t6 set bonus. The banter on vent towards the people who can't use tears on Archimonde is always fun too :D

The trouble was that after this people were beginning to drift off and I don't think anyone wanted to do BT or Sunwell. That was when my questionable behaviour the previous night came up. I pointed out we had 2 hours till the main raid and people probably need to sort things.10mins of "oh camman Echo" and we've thrown aside such petty worries and are clearing to Algalon. It's still a tricky fight all considered - with gear the enrage element of the fight was gone completely because we had 4 dps solidly on the boss most of which were doing 7-8k. Two tanks and 3 healers who took a couple tries to get the co-ordination going. We initially had 2 healers but got an ele shaman to play his resto offspec because the DPS wasn't an issue. 1 lucky ranged dps got to kill collapsing stars. Why oh why is this always me? Once I'd sorted the rhythm it was fine in fairness - a key thing if you're ever called on to do this is set a bind to mark the star you're on as skull and then completely hold off killing it if theres a cosmic smash soon or the tanks are low. We downed it after about half an hour and my good female friend who now plays a ret pally was ridiculously happy (even if she spent 50% of the fight dead in the back hole realm).

I realise some people wont have played the fight so I thought I'd do a speed overgeneralisation of it:
  • Algalon hates people with epilepsy, so be sure to turn away at the start of the fight (It's a light show). He's also trying to tell the Titans that Azeroth is totally shit and they should blow it up. Instead of using reasoned arguements you're going to kick his bitch ass to change his mind. Great lesson to teach kids blizzard.
  • You need 2 tanks and they need to manage their CDs well. Algalon also still hits like a truck and is a rogue style mob (dual wield) so your tanks will take a pounding.
  • If you think you will struggle, you need EVERYONE to commit to spending the next 60mins glued to their pc chair. You only get 1hour a week to kill this guy and trust me, when some wanker goes afk after a wipe you will want to kill him.
  • You also need someone who has done iron council hardmode looted the quest item then killed each of the keepers. Chances are if you're ready to do algalon you have all this.
The actual fight is relatively simple (all stats relate to 10man):
  • There are collapsing stars which are losing health. When they die they do a big aoe to all in the raid. 4 Spawn at a time and you have to make sure you kill them one by one because if they are left to their own devices they will all go off at the same time and wipe you. When they die they also create a black hole which is one of the key mechanics of the fight. If you stand in the black hole it puts you inside it (essentially a phased version of the platform) where there are elites wandering about and you take damage from an aura.
  • Now every 90s Algalon does an ability called Big Bang which as you've guessed is a big explosion that hits for over 70k physical damage. To avoid this everyone jumps into a black hole so when it goes off nobody dies. However, if everyone avoids the damage Algalon casts Ascend to the Heavens that pretty much rapes everything. So you leave someone outside to take the hit - either a tank with CD's popped or a shadow priest with dispersion. You also need to move out of the black hole when you jump in because after a few seconds you get ported out to the normal realm again and if you just stand in the hole you'll get re-ported.
  • The only other concept people will struggle with (provided you have a good, stylish, handsome and modest DPSer on the stars) is cosmic smash which is a big fire ability that is used every 25s and hits harder the closer you are to it. Its like a burning circle on the ground only it hits like the fist of an angry god if you're on it. Generally you can take the hit but the resulting fall will kill you, and if someone kills a star just afterwards you'll die.
  • Tanks need to swap or they get ported to black hole land when they get 5 stacks of a debuff the tank does (phase punch) - generally we have the tank that isnt tanking Algalon pulling the floating Living Constellations (annoying balls that shoot you) into blackholes to close them so there aren't too many up. I like to think of it as the title sequence to 3rd rock from the sun.
  • At 20% all the annoying stuff disappears and you get 4 black holes in a square around the boss that spawn adds. Simply have one of the tanks pick them up and go blow any CDs your dps have left to kill Algalon before he enrages.
TLDR: Avoid fire, jump in black stuff to avoid big fire, avoid black stuff the rest of the time and pray you have tanks and healers and 1 dps who read bosstactics.

This fight is beautiful and a hell of a lot of fun. The voice acting and the Lore is actually really good. Its one of the few times when I've killed something in WoW and it actually felt like my silly nelf was actually a hero as opposed to a tosspot with a bow and a wild animal who assaults innocent monsters for their things. You also get a bitching Title - Starcaller Echo on 10man or Echo, the Astral Walker on 25. I've linked the serious bosstactics below, do check out the dialog for when you defeat him. See what I mean? Listen to the sound file its really really good. I've also included a shot of the light show below. Forgive the shitty UI its from our first pulls aaaages ago.

Just after we kill him, those of us who are members get dragged into the main raid to go do some ICC25HMs. Unfortunately we had a bit of an issue due to a load of people geared and skilled enough having RL emergencies/conflicts so we had a slightly weakened raid groups that could clear normal but would struggle on HM. I offered to sit out due to my inability to raid recently as a result of a very busy job.

We weren't sure we had the raid available but after some intense officer discussion went in and knocked over festergut and putricide on normal then decided to have a crack at Valithria mainly to learn the HM fight and get some practice. 10 tries later our pallies have sorted their coordination, the hunter channel is full of positive discussion about our kiting and the raid is actively troubleshooting the things holding us back resulting in a kill great success! (People keep calling it a kill - if you're killing valithria "ur doin it rong")

All in all a busy day and surprisingly rewarding day, even if now my hand hurts from over playing. I also seem to have some enthusiasm in guild for the Ulduar nerd run next week. So we're going to give it a go and knock over as many achievements as possible.

/echo out


  1. I wish I could have the special effects before engaging Algalon as a screensaver. My guildies said the tunnel effect gave them a headache, but I think it's absolutely awesome. Too bad I didn't think of taking a screenshot...

  2. I mentioned the effects to a the ret pally friend who died at 50% on the kill. She said she was closing her eyes for the first 6 seconds of the fight :D

  3. Does this mean you don't remember our talk about the old times in guildchat at around 4.30 Sunday morning? :(